US embassy employees will go on visiting John Tobbin in jail

Consular staffers of the US Embassy in Moscow "will go on visiting" US citizen John Edward Tobbin in jail. On April 27, the Russian court found Tobbin guilty of purchase, storage, sale and abuse of drugs and sentenced him to 3 years and 1 month in maximum-security prison camp without confiscation of property. According to deputy spokesman for the US State Department Charles Hunter, a US embassy representative was present in the courtroom when the sentence was pronounced. Hunter refused to comment on the court's decision but stressed that, according to Russian law, Tobbin and his lawyers had a right to appeal against it within seven days. The April 28 issue of The Washington Post reports that the US embassy in Moscow declines any comment on Tobbin's case. Yet, according to the newspaper's information, the US side will seek Tobbin's transfer to the US prison and his serving the sentence there. John Edward Tobbin was arrested on February 2, 2001 on suspicion of committing a series of grave crimes in the drug-trafficking sphere. Initially, the prosecutor demanded that Tobbin be sentenced to 4 years in prison without confiscation of property,RIA Novosti reports.

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